Monday, December 29, 2008

HOOPS: Arthur Hill vs. East G.R.

**Pookie with his MVP award**
**Dell Simon fights his way to the basket**
Freshman Jordan Hare came up big against East GR**
**Pookie came up just short of a triple-double**

Harper Woods- Make no doubt about it- come March East Grand Rapids will be tough to knock out and the Pioneers have a good chance to advance to the Breslin Center... but Saturday's game against Arthur Hill in the Motor City Roundball belonged to the Lumberjacks and particularly Maurice "Pookie" Jones. Jones, pound for pound the best player in the state, took it right to the bigger Grand Rapids team and headed back north to Saginaw with a 68-63 win.

You could tell early in the contest that this was one of those games that had overtime written all over it. While East had no answer for Jones, Saginaw couldn't stop Colin Voss inside. The 6-8 junior controlled the boards as East jumped out to 12-0 run to take a 38-32 lead with a minute till halftime, but two consecutive 3-pointers from Jones cut the lead to 38-35 at the half.

The Pioneers controlled the lead for a majority of the second half until a Jones assist turned into a Chris Webb 3-pointer and a 51-50 Arthur Hill lead. Late in the game East regained the lead on a Voss put back. A Jones jumper followed by a steal and bucket from Jones gave the Hill a 58-57 lead but then Robert Bell was able to knock down a free throw to send the game into overtime.

The extra session was dominated by Jones! Jones first connected on two free throws to take a 4 point lead. Then three consecutive assist sealed the win for the Jacks.

BREAKDOWN: going into the contest I wasn't sure how Coach McMath was going to contain the size factor that East had, especially without 6-5 forward Omari Humes, who missed the game with a leg injury but should return shortly; but Saginaw played solid team defense and quickly came with help while rotating defensively.

I was impressed with the guard play East has, I knew what they had inside but Bell and AJ McEwen are solid even though neither could stay with Jones, but who in Michigan can?

PLAYER OF GAME: Pookie Jones, Hill- the Jacks are off and running and that's because Pookie has taken his game to another level. He's unguardable in Michigan and that led to a 22 point, 14 assist, and 7 steal performance. East tried to trap him but nothing worked. Jones got into the paint and found open teammates at will.


Chris Webb, Hill- added 20 points, mostly 3-pointers. He has a consistent stroke but has really picked up his play defensively.

Jordan Hare, Hill- the 6-7 freshman guard was forced to go down and defend Voss in the second half and he held his own. Hare finished around the basket and added four points in OT to help put the game away. Hare ended with 11 points and 8 rebounds.

Jaylen Bland, Hill- the sophomore has become consistent on both ends. He added some big baskets and did a good job helping out with the rebounds.

Colin Voss, East-
finished with 27 points and 21 rebounds, according to the Grand Rapids Press, and he was consistent for all four quarters. Voss is a player and could easily become a high major recruit.

AJ McEwen, East- AJ never got into a comfort zone having to chase Jones around but I don't recall him turning the ball over either. He's a pass first point guard but I would like to see him look for his shot more often.

DeAndre Grady, East- the 6-1 freshman is a big factor off the bench and has a bright future ahead of him. The big stage didn't faze him and he took care of the ball while running the point.

No comments: